Eight.

Okay, I totally lied. Last year I said it would be the last year ‘celebrating’ this little anniversary of B and I. But I can’t help it! Eight years ago today was B and I’s first date, which was supposed to be just a couple drinks, but ended up with B and I bar hopping and literally just talking the night away. And it was a night that I walked into being so nervous but also so certain and then as the night went on I was just completely done – like head over heels, cash the check, send the ring – soulmate.
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We have been very lucky in love, we’ve been able to create a beautiful home together while still being able to travel and do all the things we love to do.  We have our little family of three with Moz and we couldn’t be more obsessed with her. #dogparents
We of course have had our ups and downs, our disagreements and our trying times through these eight years – but we always come out together as a stronger team.

This year we really went crazy celebrating eight years – by finally finishing our bathroom project and ate some Chipotle because you know, Cinco De Mayo.

xox

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother’s Day is right around the corner – Sunday, May 12 – so if your in need of help on ideas to spoil mom this year, you’re in luck! I created this gift guide with a variety of ideas that can stand alone or be paired together to wow-mom.  From self care to home decor, to just because – you’ll be pampering and spoiling mom with these simple and personalized, yet easy gifts!
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Self-Care: Gardening season is here, which means extra hand washing and dirt! Gear mom up with these fashionable floral gardening gloves from Williams Sonoma under $20 (on sale!)  And whether it’s self care after gardening or excessive hand-washing from home projects, Aveda’s hand relief cream is a must-have for anyone you love (and yourself!) it’s so luxurious – not to mention it’s the best hand healer, which is why it’s one of my daily essentials!  Lastly, spoil mom with a new robe, because you know the one she has was around when you still lived at home (eek!) – Anthro has a ton of beautiful options that’ll make mom feel like a million bucks and make her want to donate that old robe, ASAP. <Shoppable links below>

Home Decor: Joanna Gaines’ Hearth & Hand line at Target has THE perfect mug for mom, it’s simple and the perfect reminder to mom that you love her (because it says ‘Love You, Mom’) – especially if you can’t see or talk to her everyday!  Stay on the Chip & Jojo train and get mom Joanna’s newest book Homebody is the perfect guide for anyone who loves decorating or looking for design inspiration for their home!

Just Because. The Anthro Block Letter Monogram necklace is so simple and so elegant, whether it’s a first or last name initial, mom will absolutely love this – it’s an easy and thoughtful gift that can work for anyone on your list! You can’t forget a card for mom! Go homemade or local for a personalized touch.  This card from Boundary & Thorn is the perfect mix of florals and watercolors – mom will want to frame it!

Shop the Gift Guide: Williams Sonoma Gardening Gloves | Target Glass Jar Candle | Homebody Book by Joanna Gaines | Anthropologie Block Letter Monogram Necklace | Aveda Hand Relief Cream | Love You, Mom Mug from Target | Anthropologie Flora Robe | Boundary & Thorn Mother’s Day Car

The best part is you can even pair a few of these items together as little gift sets, or with other different pieces: like the Anthro Robe with a spa gift card or bottle of mom’s favorite wine.  The coffee mug could be paired with mom’s favorite coffee beans or k-cups, and the gardening gloves and hand cream would go great with a flower pot and fun flower for mom to plant!  But remember, beyond just spoiling your mom – make sure you tell her you love her. xox

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3 Unique Wedding Gifts to Give

Guess what! Wedding season is all year round – so if the Save the Dates are starting to fill up your fridge, here are a few ideas to stash away, or better yet – order ahead of time to give as the perfect shower or wedding gift this season.  Trust me, I’m not one to promote veering away from the wedding registry but after receiving a few of these ourselves I was shocked and taken aback by the thoughtfulness!
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Okay – let’s get to the good stuff!

  1. Custom Family Cross Stitch – We got this as a wedding gift, and I nearly cried when I opened it and saw our little family stitched into a beautiful frame.  Yes, it even included MOZ! which I think is what made me the most happy – upon further viewing behind my tears I noticed that the outfits B and I wore were the same from our engagement pictures! It was seriously one of the most thoughtful gifts and we have it hanging it a prominent spot to swoon over it.  Here is a similar one on Etsy. This could also be done as a custom painting or portrait of the couples new/first home or engagement picture! Better yet, if you’re crafty enough you could make this yourself!
  2. Monthly Wine Club Subscription – This could even be a food box service for a few months (while they’re adjusting to married life) or some other beverage/cocktail service that the couple can enjoy and experience together.  Giving them a few months free is a great way for the couple to get excited about something new and make a new married tradition.  Check out Winc, Clubbubbly or Home Chef.
  3. Honeymoon Help – A lot of registries, like Zola allow couples to add a Honeymoon Fund to their registry.  This is something to keep an eye out on! Another way to help a couple on their honeymoon is with a gift certificate to a restaurant for a dinner date on their honeymoon!  We greatly appreciated this as it helped us plan a special night out and around the rest of our trip. Does this couple love traveling? This 50 States Photo Map on Etsy is also another great gift and keepsake to help traveling couples document their travels!

The important thing when giving a gift is knowing the couple! And if you’re just not sure, but want to give something a little different talk to a closer family member or friend to gut check or figure out where they’re honeymooning.  Cheers to wedding season!

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Weekend Recap – Bday & Bubbles

This past weekend was a mix of fun and relaxation – which is just what I needed after being a bit under the weather all of last week and even still into the weekend.  But I’m finally feeling like this cold is winding down and about to hightail out of here!

Friday I was fortunate to take a half day from work and grab lunch with an old coworker – we kicked off our birthday weekend with some much needed catching up! I was able to get a decent nap in before our neighbors going away party that night which lasted right up until midnight to welcome my official birthday!  Our old neighbors were in town visiting for the party as well, so it was great catching up and having almost the whole crew together under one roof again.
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Birthday Saturday was a busy, yet relaxing day.  B and I kicked off the morning with an unofficial, official birthday workout – from there I got my birthday drink from Starbucks and made my way to the spa for a facial and mani/pedi appointment. It was a nice way to kickoff the day, self care at it’s finest.  While I was at the spa, B and his dad were making some good progress on the bathroom remodel and wrapped up just as I got home – it was perfect timing, plus a BIG item crossed off the to-do list.

The rest of the day was low key until we headed to one of our favorite spots for drinks and dinner. Bubbles for me, dirty martini for B, pear salad – with no cheese for me, meatball plate for B and then we both got personal pizza’s – mushroom and prosciutto pizza, with no cheese, for me and a classic pepperoni with banana peppers for B. We grabbed some bubbles and cake before heading home for the rest of the night!
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With a birthday the day before St. Patrick’s Day, partaking in festivities usually happens by default!  We popped up to our favorite little coffee shop for their festive Pot O’Gold latte and a quiet regroup before the day got started.  The shop was glowing in green for the holiday with clovers and all things lucky – which made it another perfect reason to pop in to kickoff the Irish holiday.

From there we headed to brunch with some family before they headed to the big parade downtown.  We got more coffee, caught up with some of our favorites and ate some more delicious food.  After two jam packed days and nights, B and I were down for a relaxing afternoon.  Weekend Recao - the bee life (3)
I think one of the best parts of the weekend was that the sun was shining ALL weekend. It was amazing – not to mention I woke up to birds chirping both days.  Saturday morning, I literally did a double take and checked my phone to make sure the birds were real and not my phone alarm! It was beautiful and also meant that Moz got a walk, which always makes for a great weekend.

Cheers!

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My Hubby’s Surprise Party & Tips for Planning One

For the last 6-months or so I’ve been planning a surprise party for my hubby, B — this quickly turned into a bit feat as we got closer to the actual surprise date!  You see, I get really excited about presents I pick out, gifts, or surprises – I like to bait people and often can’t wait, just wanting to spill the beans.  Planning this party was definitely a test of that (that I passed!) but was also a bit stressful, yet very exciting!
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So here are a few tips and areas to focus on when planning a surprise party!

Plan a Date.  Since B’s birthday is a few days after Christmas, it often gets looped in with the holiday and overlooked – so I wanted to make sure we avoided the holiday but also wanted it to be close.  Since December tends to be a busy month for everyone I planned over the summer and sent out my digital Save the Dates.  I also picked a Friday night, thinking it’d be easier for me to sneak away on a work day than a regular Saturday.

Location.  This one can be tricky! I initially had the perfect place picked out with an ideal party room – then they closed over the summer.  The options got smaller and I got picker, so the fall back was our house, that way I could control the food, decorations, alcohol, etc.  I just needed to keep the hubby away long enough to get the house decorated and sneak 30-people inside.

Plan the Diversion.  I wracked my brain on this for months, until I finally reached out to MW to help with the diversion – he was all over it and a HUGE help to this all working out!  This started getting planned just a few weeks before, and then initiated with B the week of the party – drinks after work, and then getting back to the house in time for the surprise!

Pick a Theme & Decorate.  To keep a somewhat complex event, simple – I wanted to stick with a classic color scheme of gold, black and white! I kept decorations easy too,  with lots of balloons, big gold number balloons, fun themed thirty banners, some ‘Vintage 1988’ plastic cups, pictures of the birthday boy and a photo booth with polaroids.  Pro-tip: Buy a mini-helium tank, it’s easier and cheaper! 

Food & Drink Favorites.  Since I was hosting, I could pretty much pick whatever for the food and I wanted to make sure to incorporate some of B’s favorite things. To do this, I ordered chips and salsa from his favorite spot picked up dark chocolate pretzels, another favorite!  From a beverage perspective, I made sure there was plenty of B’s favorite Christmas beer – and our friends/families brought plenty of beer options for him too!
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My goal was to plan a surprise party for B to celebrate his upcoming 30th, while keeping it simple and intimate – which isn’t easy to do with big families and lots of friends, but somehow I think I pulled it off! B was DEFINITELY surprised and had no idea, I kept the charade up all day – even though I took a half day and had planning for months.  Another plus of planning so early is I slowly ordered decorations and party supplies throughout the months so I really only needed to worry about the food the week of!

It was fun, but I don’t think I’ll be planning another surprise party anytime soon!

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Cheers to One Year!

Yesterday was B and I’s official one year wedding anniversary.  It’s amazing that it’s been one year, sometimes it feels like our wedding was just yesterday and sometimes it feels like it’s been years! I was looking back at my wedding final update on The Bee Life, and it was fun to read the 6-things I was looking forward to the most.  As a refresher, here they are along with some fun memories for each.

  • Seeing the reception venue all set-up and all the tables put together – it has all been a vision in my head for well over a year… and I can’t wait to see it all put together. This was one of my most favorite parts, luckily we were able to get in on Friday to get stuff set up before the big day – the venue was everything we dreamed it would be and more, completely obsessed.
  • Walking down the aisle to B and seeing him all done up in his suit! This was a surreal moment, I was trying so hard not to cry – which I was successful keeping it together.  This part was such a blur! But seeing videos of this, I was sprinting down the aisle, ha!, probably so I wouldn’t cry.  Recap: Our Ceremony
  • My Father/Daughter dance – it’s going to be a tear jerker but that’s all I’m saying. I loved this moment and it definitely got a lot of guests teared up.  We danced to A Whole New World from Aladdin, which happened to be the same song my dad and I danced too when I was about three – and we had that video playing in the background as we danced to it again!
  • Dancing the night away with B, our family and friends.  So. much. fun.
  • Eating MY wedding cake and drinking champagne! Our cake was so delicious and I didn’t drink nearly enough champagne!!
  • Finally being B’s wife! The best part.

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If you missed all our wedding fun, catch-up on some old posts; Girls getting ready and the groom getting ready pre-wedding.  And check out the links above for the Venue and Ceremony!! Our wedding was pretty perfect, and our first year of marriage has been a nice coast through and happy to have all the wedding festivities behind us!

Cheers!

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Here are some helpful wedding planning posts if you’re getting ready for the big day! Creating Your Sweetheart Table, Planning Your Honeymoon, Tips for Creating Your Wedding Registry, 8 Wedding RSVPs You Won’t be Expecting, and Tips for Swoon Worthy Engagement Pictures.

#EmnBWed – The Ceremony

I hope you’re not sick of my wedding pictures yet?!  If you’ve missed out on these beauties, check out our first sneak peak, the girls getting ready, my handsome groom and our stunning venue. And now, I leave you with the main event – the actual ceremony and the last of wedding photo posts for a bit!

We had a traditional, full service mass for our wedding vows, something that was important to the both of us.  We also put a lot of thought into the readings we chose, and who we asked to be involved in the ceremony. Most of it was a blur but we had a few good laughs with the sweet homily from our priest and then a little moment during our vows that will always be sweet memory.  My main goal was not to cry walking down the aisle, because I’m a Kim K. cryer, but I kept it together and only got a little teary eyed.
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Since it was a tsunami of rain our entire wedding day, our exit from the church had to be adjusted – I had hand cut and made over a hundred ribbon wands and they weren’t going to waste! So we had a quick brainstorm while we were held up in the bridal suite to hand them out to guests ahead of time and asked everyone to wave them as we walked down the aisle – it worked out pretty great, and the best part was B had no idea so he was completely surprised!

What I love the most about these photos is they share the true emotions of happiness and love that we all felt that day, it was an unbelievable feeling that won’t be able to be duplicated.

Planning your big day? Here are some helpful posts; Wedding Registry Guide | Choosing a Florist | Tips for Planning Your Honeymoon | How to Create Your Sweetheart Table 

Photography by: Timothy Logan Photography 

Weekend Recap – Simple Fun

Sometimes the best weekends are the simplest weekends and consist of great friends and family and that was exactly our weekend!  With a road trip home to visit the fam we were automatically in for a good one.

Friday night we kicked off the weekend with a long overdue visit to see my forever bestie Kates and her hubs Travis.  We kept it simple with local pizza, salad and chicken wings… oh and bubbles, of course.  There was plenty of catching up to do with lots of belly laughs, it was a much needed visit. We also got to meet their newest addition to the family, their 6-month old puppy, Oscar, he’s a ball of energy and so darn cute.
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Saturday we helped my parents out with some things around the house – my dad has been recovering from ACL surgery so he hasn’t been able to do everything he is used to doing!  We then went out for a later lunch and enjoyed the beautiful day along one of the finger lakes – the scenery and company was great but the food and beverages (sadly) were mediocre, but it was still nice to try someplace new while soaking up the sunshine.  From there we just enjoyed each other’s company catching up at the house and having a cookout!  Sunday of course consisted of a Father’s Day brunch, bloody’s and a few other things around the house with the rents before we hit the road.

These weekends always seem to fly by, and there never seems like enough time to catch up with everyone but it’s also that much more special for us to soak it all in and enjoy our time with everyone!

I got it from my momma.

I mean, it’s so true. And while I love most of the things I got from my momma… there are certainly some other things as I get older that I don’t love getting from my momma, but there is not a thing I can do about that, besides laugh and shake my head.
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But beyond that, the one thing I love the most that I got from my momma is a best friend.  Looking back, especially to high school although we were close there was definitely a portion of time that seemed like constant arguments and disagreements.  And now, she still drives me a bit crazy but I understand it comes from a place of love … and that she just can’t help herself!  But she is still the person I call almost every day on my way home from work, who I text with my latest rants, random questions just about anything, and we have a great time together.
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Now that it’s official and my FMIL is now my MIL – I look forward to becoming closer with her.  We have always had a good relationship, similar interests and style not to mention good laughs. And, she raised the man of my dreams, my best friend and my life partner – how cool is that? I am so lucky to have another caring, genuine, boss woman in my life that I can officially call family.
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As the years go on, this day’s meaning changes a bit – as I start to have more mother’s in my life, from my aunts who’ve been my mom’s away from home since I moved, to my friends who are becoming mom’s, my fellow dog mom’s, adopted grandparents and now gaining another official mom this past winter.

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

 

Image Source: Timothy Logan Photography